Study

Testing solutions in grass-dominated landscapes: a review of current research

  • Published source details Buckingham D.L., Atkinson P.W. & Rook A.J. (2004) Testing solutions in grass-dominated landscapes: a review of current research. Ibis, 146, 2-163.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Leave uncut rye grass in silage fields for birds

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Leave uncut strips of rye grass on silage fields

Action Link
Farmland Conservation

Reduce grazing intensity on grassland (including seasonal removal of livestock)

Action Link
Farmland Conservation

Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Leave uncut rye grass in silage fields for birds

    A review of experiments on the effects of agri-environment measures on livestock farms in the UK (Buckingham et al. 2004) found that leaving rye grass silage uncut was shown to benefit seed-eating birds in winter in one experiment. No reference was given in the review for these results. The birds were only found in any numbers on plots left unmown, and were more abundant on plots left ungrazed rather than being grazed from September. Yellowhammers Emberiza citrinella and reed buntings Emberiza schoeniclus reached densities of 132 and 52 birds/ha respectively on unmown, ungrazed plots.

     

  2. Leave uncut strips of rye grass on silage fields

    A 2004 review of experiments on the effects of agri-environment measures on livestock farms in the UK (Buckingham et al. 2004) found that leaving perennial rye grass Lolium perenne silage uncut was shown to benefit seed-eating birds in winter in one experiment. No reference was given in the review for these results. The birds were only found in any numbers on plots left unmown, and were more abundant on plots left ungrazed than plots grazed from September. Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella and reed bunting E. schoeniclus reached densities of 132 and 52 birds/ha respectively on unmown, ungrazed plots.

     

  3. Reduce grazing intensity on grassland (including seasonal removal of livestock)

    A 2004 review of experiments on the effects of agri-environment measures on livestock farms in the UK (Buckingham et al. 2004) found one randomized, replicated trial in Scotland showing that grass field headlands left ungrazed in summer had more insects in groups known to be food for game birds (true bugs (Heteroptera), butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) and sawflies (Symphyta)) than grazed plots (this study also reported in (Haysom et al. 2000)). Another experiment (no reference given in the review) showed seed-eating birds were more abundant in winter on uncut silage plots left ungrazed than on plots grazed from September. Two other experiments examined effects of reduced grazing intensity, but bird numbers using experimental plots were probably too low for analysis. The review assessed results from seven experiments (some incomplete at the time of the review) in the UK and Europe.

  4. Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture

    A review of experiments on the effects of agri-environment measures on livestock farms in the UK (Buckingham et al. 2004) found that in one experiment in southwest England (the PEBIL project, also reported in (Defra 2003), birds preferred grass margins sown with plants providing seed food and cover over plots of grassland subject to various managements. The review assessed results from seven experiments (some incomplete at the time of the review) in Europe.

     

  5. Plant wild bird seed or cover mixture

    A 2004 review of experiments on the effects of agri-environment measures on livestock farms in the UK (Buckingham et al. 2004) found that in one experiment in southwest England (the Potential to Enhance Biodiversity in Intensive Livestock farms (PEBIL) project, also reported in (Defra 2007)), birds preferred grass margins sown with plants providing seed food and cover, over plots of grassland subject to various management treatments. The review assessed results from seven experiments (some incomplete at the time of the review) in the UK and Europe.

     

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